The Single Most Important Lesson
*Note: This blog post is the opinion of the author and does not reflect the opinions of Steve Spangler Science or it’s affiliates. Also, keep in mind that this is a humorous column and should be read with a light heart and mind.
Protests, both peaceful and not, have always been an integral part of the United States of America. The nation got its start because we really hated that our tea was taxed and decided throwing it in the sea was the best way to get that point across.
The U.S. educational system is also no stranger to protest: from segregation to possible changes in curriculum. The latter has recently found national prominence because of Jefferson County, Colorado. In fact, part of the protest labeled on twitter as #JeffCoSchoolBoardHistory and #JeffCoStandUp is in response to the alleged censorship in a curriculum review proposal. Students have staged walk outs and organized picketing events to voice their distaste.
So, where should we stand: as voting Americans, parents, teachers, students, on-lookers? We shouldn’t stand. We should always fight.
I’m not encouraging a state of anarchy. I’m talking about using the resources at our disposal like the magical maze of metal and clouds and Apple DellBerries called the internet, like the beautifully antiquated rows of books in a library, or like THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU to help form your own, educated opinions about the happenings of the world around you. Government, education, social equality, hunter safety… it doesn’t matter. Form your own EDUCATED opinon.
Just, please make sure that it’s an educated opinion. All sides of all debates and arguments are incessantly guilty of conjuring blatant ignorance amidst heated discussion. “Well, you said to use the internet and I read…” Wait. Stop. Spare me what you read on the internet.
You have to go deeper that what you read. We need to know what, given the evidence, you think. Protest isn’t throwing a political hissy fit on social media because a teacher used sex toys to teach sex education. (To those of you who had their blood immediately begin to boil, take a second and actually click, and read section 5 inthe link.) It’s a fake story, but that didn’t prevent Facebookers everywhere from having a conniption fit.
Take a second before you post your asterisk laden tirade and breathe, research, and form a smart, educated opinion.
When it comes to education, there’s a difficult variable. It isn’t the beliefs, well-being, and minds of adults that are coming to question. Ultimately, those miniature meat-bags we call our children will either benefit or suffer at the outcome of a protest.
That’s why the situation in Jefferson County is so incredible, to me. If these kids are actually getting up and protesting on their own accord, without the ever so gentle (I’m sure) push of their parents, then they are doing something in high school that I didn’t really learn until my mid-20s. Those kids are taking their education and, more importantly, their thoughts into their own hands.
Education in America has, to this point, been a decent mirror of the United States government because, well, it’s basically a miniature government. Whether you are among the dissenters or the patriots, it takes more than you to get your way. These kids may or may not realize that, yet, but they’re learning that, just because you’re taught one thing, doesn’t mean that its the right thing.
Every situation involves a lot of hear-say, and it’s impossible to know how truthful each and every statement made to news outlets is, so I hope that it’s less about the parents pushing their agenda that my cynicism believes.
I hope that my children grow up to question everything, within reason. If you don’t agree, do your research, and come back to me. You don’t agree with something I told you? Start by asking mom her opinion. We don’t always agree, so that’s a great place to start. That’s how I learn most new things, now. I ask mom. If she agrees, ask me to search for it on the internet. What did you find?
I invite questions, and I think we all should, because the most important lesson is how to teach yourself.
Fresh Prince of the Science Fair.
Writer for Steve Spangler Science.
Dad of 2. Expecting 1 more.
Husband. Amateur adventurer.
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